Quick and easy vegetarian recipe for Biryani! A fragrant Indian rice and chickpea dish infused with Indian spices – vegan adaptable and gluten-free. A quick and easy weeknight meal.
The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.~ Brene Brown
This recipe for Biryani requires only 15 minutes of hands-on-time before it gently simmers on the stovetop, relatively hands-free. Biryani, if unfamiliar, is an Indian staple, made with rice that varies greatly from region to region, often made with chicken. Here is another authentic recipe for Chicken Biryani, if you’d like to go that route.
This version is totally meatless, made with veggies and chickpeas- and can be made very quickly. As it simmers, fragrant Indian spices infuse the house with goodness. Serve this with flavorful Cilantro Mint Chutney which is vegan adaptable!
How to Make Vegetarian Biryani! | 30-second video!
Biryani starts with browning the onions, creating the base of the flavorful dish.
The best way cook biryani is to cover the simmering rice with a thin kitchen towel, folding the edges up over the lid. This helps create a good seal and allowing the rice to cook more evenly.
When it’s done, the rice with be perfectly cooked and fluffy.
Sprinkle with toasted cashews, raisins and cilantro.
Serve with a side of cilantro mint chutney!
Vegetarian Biryani- so simple yet full of great flavor!
If you are looking for a more traditional Indian style biryani recipe, like I mentioned before, make sure to try this Chicken Biryani recipe -it’s really delicious! It’s perfect for a Sunday when you have time to be in the kitchen for a couple of hours.
What to serve with Biryani?
Hope you enjoy!
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Quick and Easy Vegetarian Biryani Recipe
Quick and Easy Vegetarian Biryani! A fragrant Indian rice dish infused with Indian spices – vegan adaptable and gluten-free. A quick and easy weeknight meal. | Serve it with Cilantro Mint Chutney.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: vegan, vegetarian, main
- Method: Stove-top
- Cuisine: Indian
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 –2 cups chopped or thinly sliced veggies ( bell pepper, zucchini, or carrots)
- 3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or 3 crushed cardamom pods)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Garnish: 1/4 cup cashews and chopped parsley or cilantro
Serve with Cilantro Mint Chutney ( vegan adaptable!)
In a large skillet, or shallow Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until tender and golden, 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add your choice of veggies and garlic and ginger, and cook 4-5 minutes. Remove one cup of the mixture and set aside.
Add spices and bay leaf, and stir one minute, toasting the spices. Add basmati rice, and saute one-minute stirring. Add stock and salt.
Top with chickpeas, raisins and the cup of veggies you set aside. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then lower heat to low. Cover the pot with a thin dish towel, place the lid over the top of the towel, and bring the four corners of the towel up and over the lid. This will tighten the seal and keep the steam in, allowing the rice to cook more quickly and evenly.
Simmer on low 20-30 minutes or until the rice has soaked up the liquid. See notes.
While it is simmering make the Cilantro Mint Chutney
Uncover the Vegetarian Biryani and fluff up with a fork. Top with the toasted cashew and cilantro. Serve with optional Chutney.
Instant or “Quick Cooking” Basmati Rice will not work well here.
Brown basmati rice may require a few more minutes of cooking time. Check package directions for cooking time – each rice is different.
You are welcome to add other veggies to the biryani- here I’ve added thinly sliced sweet peppers. If you want to add chicken to this, make sure to season it well and brown it first before adding to the rice mixture to simmer.
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